It’s unlikely that you’ll see Brian Koppelman plugging a screenwriting how-to book anytime soon. The writer/director behind Ocean’s Thirteen and Solitary Man publicly denounced the hoodwinkery birthed by the cat-saving industry and felt strongly enough about the seminar culture to make it the message of his first six-second screenwriting tip.
Those tips come in the form of Vines (what else?) that he produces daily. Each comes with a kind of scorched earth sincerity that you don’t often get from working filmmakers, and by next week, he’ll have amassed one hundred of them. That’s a full ten minutes of helpful jabs where his face and nearly two decades of insight fill the frame.
Typically with this space we focus on 6 filmmaking tips and offer further challenges and exploration, but for Koppelman’s unique delivery, we’re making a special exception — particularly because there’s so much here (and because digging deeper would be like analyzing a punch with the person who’s on the mat). These bursts of advice easily stand alone.
So here are my favorite six minutes of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a true grinder.
Your Personal Guide
“Write What You Know” Has Limits
Just Do It
Just Do It Without Trying to Game the Studios
Consistency is the Only Real Rule
The Books Worth Reading
Ask the Passionate Question
Seeking Permission to Write
A Specific Script for Starting Out
More Required Reading (from Murakami)